Richard Mercer, Director
Richard Mercer is a Connecticut native and a graduate of the University of Cincinnati, where he played NCAA Division 1A football as a tailback. He has always been physically active and spent years in gyms working out with weights and doing various forms of cardio exercise. As a teacher, Richard draws from his extensive background in competitive athletics, blending focus, discipline and compassion to bring out the very best in his students.
A friend introduced him to Bikram Yoga at the end of 2003 and, although he’d never practiced any form of yoga before, he gave it a try and got hooked. After years of being tight and sore, he found that he soon became more flexible and his soreness dissipated. He was amazed by the intensity of the workout, and has been able to remain in top physical condition.
After over twenty years as a top level executive in Corporate America, he decided to leave corporate and go to Bikram Teacher Training in April of 2007. This encompassed nine weeks of full time training in Honolulu, HI, where over 300 trainees came from 37 countries around the world. He completed two Bikram classes per day, 5 days per week, additional classes on weekends, and he attended daily lectures and posture clinics. His training included lessons in anatomy, physiology and yoga theory. All told, he spent over 900 hours in training prior to graduating and becoming certified by Bikram’s Yoga College of India.
Richard was also the winner of the “Longest Awkward Pose Award” for which he holds the current World Record at 3 minutes, 33 seconds.
Recognizing the value that this yoga could bring to so many people, Richard decided to open a studio where he resides in Simsbury. He, and his wife, Laurie Krause, located and purchased the perfect property. Once the purchase was complete in June of 2008, the fun began and the construction started that fall. The process certainly brought newfound expertise in patience and developed a much deeper understanding of the saying: “Don’t push the river, it flows.”
Richard is certified in Medicinal Essential Oils. He has created many healing blends as well as natural and safe perfumes.
Richard and Laurie live in Simsbury. Their children have now grown – Blake is in AZ, Min is in WA and Zack is in CT and helps out at the studio.
Laurie Krause is the Operations Person for our studio. After 32+ years in senior management positions in national banks, mortgage and technology companies, she brings operations management to the studio. Laurie’s experience ensures that our studio is run in a warm, pleasant and professional manner.
Laurie has been practicing Bikram for about 12 years. She has found that Bikram removes her arthritis pain, tones muscles and quiets the mind. She credits Bikram, as well as removing chemicals from both diet and environment, for allowing her to cease taking multiple prescriptions previously deemed necessary by doctors.
Laurie graduated from Bikram Yoga Teacher Training in June of 2010 and is a Certified Bikram Yoga Teacher. She has several regularly scheduled classes and also fills in when necessary. You can read her blog from her Teacher Training Adventure here.
Certified in Traditional Chinese Herbology and Medicinal Essential Oils, Laurie owns and operates Simsbury Herbology. If you are looking for a natural way to help your body to heal itself, talk to her, she’s happy to help. She also has many cold and flu and cough remedies always available at the studio, as well as healing herbal teas.